The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan, has recently told the press that a special plane was to fly to China and get the first batch of the Novel Coronavirus vaccine doses for Pakistan.
Dr Sultan had earlier chaired a meeting held at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to discuss the country’s vaccine strategy. The meeting discusses the logistics of bringing the vaccine into Pakistan, efficient vaccine movement, and various deployment strategies.
Representatives have been appointed from each province and they have all updated their complete deployment plan and infrastructure arrangements for administration of the vaccine. A nerve centre, of sorts, has been established at the NCOC in Islamabad. A vaccine administration centre has also been formed and arrangements are being organised down to district levels.
“It is expected that the first consignment will have around 500,000 doses of vaccine,” said the SAPM. He also said that administration will start as soon as possible; possibly in the coming first week of February. They have also sought the help of NADRA in formulating a system to ensure everyone has access to the vaccination.
“The process will begin with frontline healthcare workers and will proceed to senior citizens of more than 65 years of age who are at high risk,” said Dr Sultan. “In this regard, all efforts have been done. Procurement of vaccine will be made through vaccine companies directly and also by Covax.”
Covax is a global initiative taken to ensure rapid and equitable access to the coronavirus vaccine, especially for developing countries like Pakistan. According to Dr Sultan, 20 percent of the country’s population will be covered through the Covax initiative.
Moreover, Senate Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla informed a meeting on Thursday that an order for 200,000 units of the vaccine had been placed. These units were to be used by senators and other staff members of the senate. However, Sajid Shah, a spokesperson of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that a priority list has been developed and the government will strictly adhere to it. “Vaccine will be administered on merit and transparently,” he informed Dawn News.